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Jan 09 2012

Open thread on AE #743

At best I’d have to describe yesterday’s show as a slow news day, with me and Jeff getting into some fairly lightweight discussions, and even the one theist kind of rolling over.  Just one of those days, you know?  Have fun.

-Russell

115 comments

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  1. 1
    Ingdigo Jump

    No NP? Shame :(

    1. 1.1
      Steve

      It returns this Saturday.

  2. 2
    Muriel

    I could just watch you and Jeff shopping for groceries and still be famously entertained.
    I’m creepy that way.

    1. 2.1
      Russell Glasser

      Who told you about our new reality show coming to Fox?!?

      1. Muriel

        It was my idea.
        O’Reilly was skeptical at first, but when I showed him Russell’s eyebrows, he was sold.

        1. Muriel

          Damn. Jeff’s, of course.
          Now I’m some kind of fanboy, getting my idols mixed up…

        2. Russell Glasser

          Well apparently, Jeff is the one who has “demonic” eyebrows.

          1. annabucci

            He totally does.

          2. malefue

            you think? they look happy to me.

  3. 3
    Orlando

    Probably my audio quality but I had trouble understanding some of the non-American callers with the heavy accents. But still, a pretty entertaining show with a couple of heavyweight hosts.

    1. 3.1
      Russell Glasser

      I was sitting right there in the studio and I had a hard time understanding the Brazilian guy’s accent. Even after I think I understood the content, it didn’t make much sense. :)

      1. Orlando

        And to add to the madness, during the streaming of your episode, evangelical Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow, whose favorite verse is John 3:16, beat the Steelers in a stunning upset with 316 yards AND 31.6 yards per pass! Christians are now going over his past numbers to match them to bible verses.

        1. Sports Fan

          What, couldn’t he have 3.16 yards per pass? Lamer.

        2. Cafeeine

          “The Tebow code”: Coming soon to a Christian bookstore near you.

          1. Orlando

            LOL. The Patriots will be reading an advance copy this week.

  4. 4
    atheist from hell

    The theist call “..making sense with out being rational…” was odd.

    I wonder why they make such arguments.

    My guess is that they know that god does not exist. But they probably were brought up in a religious home and thus have publicly committed to religion. They can not back down without admitting that they have been wrong all along. Hence the double down “….things can make sense even when it is not rational….”

    1. 4.1
      Orlando

      Yeah, agree. What I don’t get is why don’t theists admit that they believe because that is how they were raised. All the rest is post hoc rationalization.

      1. annabucci

        I wasn’t rasied in my religion, I converted 10 yrs ago.

        1. Orlando

          But you were raised in A religion, right? So you were indoctrinated into believing in a supernatural creator. You just changed brands.

          1. annabucci

            I wouldn’t say I was raised in a religion as much as I grew up in a society dominated by religion.

          2. annabucci

            Also, I don’t believe in a supernatural creator, so…

    2. 4.2
      Sprawn

      It seemed like a very weak attempt at a “non-overlapping magisteria” argument. Which basically means, “I don’t want to fight… especially when my born-again millionaire grandpa is at the table.” At least that’s what it means to me. Apparently, there are people capable of sincerely holding such views… that there is a time and place to use irrational techniques to evaluate evidence. They never seem to generate very good arguments. Probably because they think there are subjects about which an irrational approach is best.

      1. atheist from hell

        There is another reason why these people do not want a fight with atheists. They know they will lose. Hence the politeness. So that they are not be publicly ridiculed.

        On the other hand when these same people are debating theists of other religions they do not back down, because they know that both sides suffer from the same fatal flaw, ie non-existence of God. So fight each other on peripheral issues.

        Shameless people.

        1. bombersimon

          I agree, it would be a deceptive ploy, but it seems like more fun when you come across a christian and start to discuss topics and you start defending a different denomination’s point of view. They get very excited to debate ridiculous tenets once they think that you’re both going under the assumption that the Christian God exists. Doing the bait and switch really messes with them.

    3. 4.3
      DobermanGuy

      Because they dont even think that how theyre thinking is wrong. Rationality, eh, who needs it

    4. 4.4
      AtheistSteve

      I got the impression that the caller was ineffectually trying to say that he could ‘sense’ God or a spiritual presence. Many theists make this claim. That they can commune in some ESP way with the object of their faith. Likening it to the ephemeral quality of emotions such as ‘love’ is useful as an excuse to avoid the need to justify their subjective experience. God felt as an emotion is invariably real for most believers. I’m ok with accepting God’s existence strictly as a concept of the mind. It’s all in your head Buddy and you have no way of conveying what you ‘feel’ to anyone else. As Tracy would likely point out, if it doesn’t manifest in reality in some fashion then it’s indistinguishable from non-existence.

  5. 5
    atheist from hell

    Recently Pat Robertson was in the news. Apparently he spoke to God and God told him who the next president will be.

    When I saw that Jeff Dee was hosting this week’s show I was hoping to hear him impersonate Pat Robertson.

    Very disappointed that he did not.

    1. 5.1
      Felipe

      Well, channeling is a very demanding process.

  6. 6
    jacobfromlost

    The idea of something “making sense without being rational” can apply to anything in anyone’s head at any time.

    Anything can make sense (in your own head) if you just accept it as true no matter what.

    If you start with the premise that X is true no matter what, then X will always make sense even if it is irrational. You can point to how X doesn’t make sense, is contrary to evidence, is contrary to reason, etc, and all you have to do to make it “make sense” is refer to premise one: “X is true no matter what”.

    It’s kind of spooky how easy humans can fall into that kind of thinking (even rationalists in some circumstances). If you want to believe your wife would never cheat no matter what, that you could never get cancer no matter what, that your best friend wouldn’t lie to get money out of you, etc, it often doesn’t matter HOW conclusive the evidence is for these kinds of things…we still want to believe what we want to believe because it is emotionally convenient to do so.

    In our own heads, it might not make sense that our wife is cheating (so we disregard strange tie and boxer shorts under the bed), it might not make sense that we have cancer (despite the doctor, the biopsies, and the second opinions), that our best friend would lie to get money out of us (how can he be my best friend if he lied to me to get money?). I think this is what people mean when they say they are living a lie.

    When my dad’s doctor told him he had diabetes, he told the doctor, “No I don’t,” as if that was the end of it. Too bad those kind of pronouncements about reality don’t work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just SAY you didn’t have cancer and all the evidence for it disappeared?

  7. 7
    Jeff (not Dee)

    I agree with Russell that it was a slow episode. Some constructive (I hope) criticism:

    The first and second calls were just painful, but mostly the second. The guy just called to shoot the breeze and was given triple or even quadruple the amount of time he should have had. I know the hosts were trying to be polite, but damn. I only had audio, so I don’t know which host (probably Jeff), but one of them sighed with despair at least twice when that guy was talking.

    There also needs to be a way to get people to not waste the show’s time by just gushing about it. One caller spent way too much time praising the show and what you’re doing. While it might be nice to hear for the hosts and staff, it takes up valuable time and does not make for interesting discussion. Perhaps a sustained show culture of not allowing so much time per call would, after several episodes, give viewers the hint that they should get to the point?

    1. 7.1
      Russell Glasser

      Well you know, as I’ve explained before, we can only take the calls we actually receive. When I’m on a call I can look at the screener’s notes on the other three lines and see what other topics are available to talk about. You heard who called in yesterday. If that’s what I have to work with, what would be the point of hanging up on one potentially boring person just to rush to another one? Theists still get fast tracked when we have them.

      1. Orlando

        Yes, and to back up Kazim, some episodes are criticized for not giving people enough time. Moreover, invariably Christians call in or post to criticize the low intelligence of the other Christian callers, as if callers have to pass some kind of IQ test and the smart ones get rejected.

        I’ve been waiting 6 years for an intelligent Christian to call in, without success. Well, that’s a bit unfair as there are, reportedly, high IQ Christians out there. Let me rephrase: the christian callers with strong, coherent arguments are relatively rare. Christians, prove me, and your fellow Christians, wrong!

      2. Jeff (not Dee)

        I know you’ve explained it before and I know you must have discussed it many (, many, many) times at length amongst yourselves. I appreciate it is not easy. In my experience of unsuccessfully trying to call the show, the phone lines get tied up nearly immediately after the show begins, maybe even before it begins. If you have 4 lines and you did what, like 5 or 6 calls in that show, then there are probably lots of people who would love to call but can’t get through. Your chances of getting a good call increase dramatically the more calls you take. Do you not think it’s accurate that many more people try to call the show each week than you have time or enough lines for?

        So the answer to this question, “If that’s what I have to work with, what would be the point of hanging up on one potentially boring person just to rush to another one?” is, so you can free up a line for a new caller.

        As for Orlando’s comment re criticism about not giving callers enough time, only the ones with whom at least a productive and/or entertaining discussion is taking place should get more time. The criticism probably comes from the hosts hanging up too quickly on a theist because they think it’s a prank call. I’ve commented on this forum when I think the hosts either gave too much time to a prank or hung up early on what I suspect was not a prank. It’s a tough task to weed them out, I know. I’ve also mentioned before that the policy of fast-tracking theists to the front of the line is probably one reason the show gets the atheists-posing-as-theists callers, because it rewards the trickery.

        1. moralnihilist

          They’re assuming more theists are pranks because they’ve been told explicitly that a group of atheists are calling into the show pretending to be theists simply to spark an angry conversation. I think it’s getting harder to get theists to call in to shows like this. The AE has been around for more than a decade in the Austin area so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve largely exhausted the pool of local theists who A) watch Public Access television, B) are willing to watch an atheist show, and C) are willing to call in.

          Just look at what’s happening on Ask an Atheist. Week after week, nobody calls in except a few “I want to hear myself talk” atheists every once in a while. And this is despite the fact that they’re on a talk radio station that is otherwise full of religious programming. Any Christian who does accidentally tune to their show on AM radio who would be mad enough to argue with them is probably just changing the station instead. Personally though, I think it’s the fact that they have an atheist show in one of the most secular parts of the country and the people they want to call in and have debates with (those who listen to AM radio, listen to their show, and are willing to call in) just…don’t…exist.

          1. annabucci

            I never heard of ask an atheist, I would like to call in to that show too.

      3. moralnihilist

        Definitely a slow day, probably being the first episode back from the holiday and most people have gotten out of the habit of listening.

        It just annoys the crap out of me when people call just to have a conversation, or to hear themselves talk on TV. If you’re an atheist calling, have a freaking point! But like you said, you can only talk to who calls in.

      4. Jeff

        Russell, I just listened to the latest show (Jan. 16th), and I think the pace of callers was pretty much perfect. You moved on to the next callers almost exactly when I would have if I had control of the buttons. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but as a viewer/listener, I thought your pacing was an improvement over last week and would like to ask you to continue like this in future episodes.

        Does anybody else have an opinion?

  8. 8
    atheist from hell

    @Orlando

    You are being unfair. I am there are a lot of intelligent Christians. But they still can not provide a coherent argument for God/religion because they will be defending the indefensible.

    Even the smartest mathematician will not be able to defend 1+1 equals 3.

    1. 8.1
      Orlando

      Atheist from Heck,

      If you re-read my post, I acknowledged I was unfair and rephrased. And some mathematicians CAN prove 1+1=3 if they slip in a division by zero in the proof (*_*)

    2. 8.2
      Orlando

      And you are correct that there is at least one high IQ Christian: bar bouncer and certified genius Chris Langan, who has surrogates who post his proof of god on Atheist sites. His proof rivals Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance proof in inscrutability and obfuscation.

      1. MarkB

        Didn’t he prove that his brain was larger-than-average by sticking his head in a bucket?

        1. Russell Glasser

          “I’m quite used to being humiliated. I can even go stick my head in a bucket of water if you like. Would you like me to go stick me head in a bucket of water? I’ve got one ready.”
          “What’s he saying?”
          “Nothing. He just phoned up to wash his head at us.”

          1. MarkB

            Marvin had a brain the size of a planet…

  9. 9
    annabucci

    I would’ve loved to call in; I’m a pretty smart theist :) Unfortunately I work on Sundays and couldn’t get the time off. Hopefully, I’ll be able to call in next Sunday(my time off has been approved!) so I’ll try to get through. I’ve tried 3 times to call in the past and I’ve only gotten through once. You guys need more phone lines, or something.

    1. 9.1
      Jeff (not Dee)

      See my comments above re taking more callers per show instead of letting the boring ones go on for way too long.

      By the way, why are you working on the Sabbath? Or are you not a Christian-theist?

      1. annabucci

        I think the sabbath would be saturday, and I work on that day too. I’m not christian so their rules do not apply to me. Nice try though.

        1. Orlando

          I thought Christian rules apply to all religions. A christian I know claimed that all religions were copies – poor copies, but copies still – of the christian belief system. He said that even the chinese and Indians borrowed from Genesis.

          In fact, I suspect that the Great wall of China was built by early Israel tribes to keep the chinese from sneaking into the Middle East and stealing stuff from Yahweh and Jehovah and the other tribal leaders (oops, I mean gods).

          Of course, Von Daniken’s thesis that the Great Wall was constructed by alien visitors is more probable, all things considered.

          1. annabucci

            LOL

            American Indians are a lost tribe of Israel too, right?

          2. Mary2

            Orlando, not true. In Australia, thanks to a fabulous tv ad, we KNOW that the Great Wall of China was built by the Emperor Nasi Goreng (actually an Indonesian rice dish) in order to keep the rabbits out.

    2. 9.2
      MarkB

      Anna, what would you talk about if you called in? As has been pointed out you’ve been somewhat cagey about your beliefs. I’ve personally wondered why you hang out here with a bunch of atheists.

      1. LykeX

        If memory serves, Anna is some kind of neo-pagan, but I’m not sure of the details. She was at the old site too, with a link to her personal website.

        1. MarkB

          Its called Fyrnsidu, and I’d be interested in hearing this addressed; “From an purely epistemic standpoint, belief in the Gods cannot be satisfactorily justified without recourse to personal gnosis or religious experiences/revelations as evidence. Therefore, the goal of epistemology within the tradition of Fyrnsidu cannot be to prove the truth of our religious doctrines, but rather to understand them.”

          I need to interject here; if the “truth” isn’t really true and you think it is, you don’t understand it.

          “…the existence of the Gods and wights of Fyrnsidu cannot be demonstrated with absolute certainty except from a position of faith.”

          And if it comes down to this, there’s really nothing to discuss.

          1. annabucci

            If you’d like to know more about Fyrnsidu, feel free to email me.

      2. annabucci

        I’ve never been “cagey” about my beliefs. So that’s odd.

        To answer your question I wanted to call and ask about “In God We Trust” documentary, if they saw it yet and what they thought of it.

  10. 10
    atheist from hell

    Well, there are people in north east part of India who call themselves lost tribe of Israel.

    They look exactly like other Indians in north east.

    1. 10.1
      Orlando

      Did Joseph Smith know about this?

  11. 11
    jacobfromlost

    FYI, I had a chatroom conversation with annabucci (per her request) where she claimed to be a polytheist. Since she didn’t offer any specifics here (which is why our conversation went to chat–she said it would be easier to discuss there) about her theism (not even mentioning the WORD “polytheism” if my memory serves), I told her I didn’t believe her. She also offered no specifics about her beliefs for a very, very long time. She finally revealed she believes in Odin (and several other gods I can’t remember), although she disagrees with Odin on some things (like not talking to enemies to work things out). She then pummelled me with facts about her beliefs for about 20 minutes, but I didn’t believe that either as it seemed she was getting things off of wikipedia. Finally she gave me links to her websites which did seem to be polytheist centered. To prove it was HER website, I had her modify the website…where she left a message that I was a dipshit.

    So now I tentatively believe she is a polytheist, but she refused to answer basic questions about her beliefs–for instance, why she believes in some gods and not others (she DID answer that there are some gods she doesn’t believe in). Although I might be oversimplifying since she did say something about liking the idea of honoring the beliefs of ancestors. She also would not answer if she believes Odin et al LITERALLY exist, or are just her preferred organizing principle for her life. To me, it sounds more like a fan club for mythical characters.

    Maybe she’s afraid we will not take her seriously if she reveals what her “theism” is, but I sincerely think we would take her just as seriously as we take Christians. :-)

    1. 11.1
      Orlando

      Maybe she is the same woman who used to post on the Richard Dawkins and Rational Skepticism websites (I forgot the name this person used), claiming to believe in Odin, Thor, etc. She was amusing, but never laid out her rationale for fear of being criticized.

      1. annabucci

        I am the same person.

      2. annabucci

        And I do not have a fear of being criticized, that’s an assumption on your part with no merit. Keep lying about me if it makes you feel better though.

    2. 11.2
      Fabricio Ferreira

      Or maybe she was trolling you.

      Seriosly, Odin? Does she played Ragnarok Online too much?

      1. LykeX

        Why not Odin? Makes more sense than the christian god. At least Odin has a personality you can grasp and relate to and he won’t torture you forever if you disagree with him. If someone insists on believing in some kind of god, they could do a lot worse than Odin.

      2. annabucci

        Seriously, Odin. And no I don’t play Ragnarok Online. Thanks though.

      3. jacobfromlost

        I thought she WAS trolling me, which was why I didn’t want to continue the conversation with her until she demonstrated to my satisfaction that she indeed WAS a polytheist. Everything she offered (as evidence of her belief) at first, however, was not evidence. She said I could ask Martin or Russell (I asked her how they would know if she was REALLY a polytheist or just said she was?). I also told her that I suspected she was faking because she never mentioned anything specific about her beliefs in the blog, or at the beginning of our chat. Then she started listing facts, with long pauses in between each, that indicated to me someone who was posting things from wikipedia (ie, not someone who held all of these beliefs and could just rattle them off). I told her so. So finally she listed some links to her websites. The websites looked to me to have enough effort put into them to suggest an actual believer in polytheism put them together. So I asked her to change the page to demonstrate it was HER page, and that’s when she posted that I was a dipshit on that page. Which was enough evidence for me to tentatively accept she is a polytheist and continue the discussion about her beliefs. But the discussion didn’t go any farther here nor there (my internet connection dropped a couple minutes later and I didn’t feel like returning to hear more about Odin).

        Also, she HAS been cagey in regard to her beliefs, at least in the blog. The only thing she revealed here was that she is a “theist” and doesn’t believe in a supernatural creator. The Odin thing, as well as the polytheism, were revealed by me after the chat, and she finally acknowledged them. If that’s not cagey, I don’t know what is.

        1. annabucci

          Those mysterious pauses was me typing. When one types it take a bit of time sometimes. If I were copying and pasting off wikipedia 1) it would’ve been verbatim and it wasn’t, and 2) it would’ve been much faster.

          This is why you’re a nutter. You’re paranoid that I was actually an atheist rather than a polytheist, and then you imagined I was doing everything I could to fool you, including copying and pasting from wikipedia.

          You wouldn’t even believe my website was mine(despite it being called thebucci.com) and I was made to change the website just to prove it to you.

          You are a tiresome troll. I think you only did this to annoy the fuck out of me. And it worked.

        2. annabucci

          Also, it had already been “revealed” that I’m polytheist and pagan about 7 months ago on this blog(when it was on blogspot). Too bad you weren’t paying attention.

          The whole “cagey” accusation is absurd.

        3. jacobfromlost

          Anna: Those mysterious pauses was me typing. When one types it take a bit of time sometimes. If I were copying and pasting off wikipedia 1) it would’ve been verbatim and it wasn’t, and 2) it would’ve been much faster.

          Me: What you need to understand is I’m a skeptic, and everything you said, and all the ways you said it, was not evidence of an actual belief. The only thing that WAS, to my satisfaction, was the modification of the website.

          Anna: This is why you’re a nutter.

          Me: I’m not a nutter.

          Anna: You’re paranoid that I was actually an atheist rather than a polytheist, and then you imagined I was doing everything I could to fool you, including copying and pasting from wikipedia.

          Me: You know why? Because it happens all the time. Moreover, I’ve had these kind of god/atheism arguments on the web since the ’90s, and I have NEVER had someone claim to be a polytheist who believed in Odin. NEVER. That’s an extraordinary claim (the claim to believe it) which requires extraordinary evidence.

          Anna: You wouldn’t even believe my website was mine(despite it being called thebucci.com) and I was made to change the website just to prove it to you.

          Me: I know nothing about polytheism. I do know, however, that I am not in fact “jacobfromlost” (he’s a fictional character, lol), and that SAYING you are “annabucci” on a comment is not the same as actually BEING such a person. How was I to know you didn’t assume that name to make people think you were a polytheist? Since that is the name you are using here, and that was the name of the website, and you DID change the site to demonstrate it is yours, I am 65% sure you are a polytheist. :-) Which is enough for me to discuss it with you and no longer feel like I’m wasting my time with a troll.

          Anna: You are a tiresome troll. I think you only did this to annoy the fuck out of me. And it worked.

          Me: No. I did because it is very hard to believe someone would actually believe in Odin et al in this day and age. Now that I know you believe such strange things, you can start explaining why you believe them. Unless you just don’t care to explain why you believe them, in which case…why are you here?

          Anna: Also, it had already been “revealed” that I’m polytheist and pagan about 7 months ago on this blog(when it was on blogspot). Too bad you weren’t paying attention.

          Me: Just because you say you are a polytheist and a pagan doesn’t mean you are. But that’s neither here nor there as I already said I believe you with 65% confidence that you are a polytheist. What more do you want from me?

          Anna: The whole “cagey” accusation is absurd.

          Me: Why do you keep entering a blog of atheists to make random comments criticizing atheists with no support for those criticisms? You obviously think polytheism is superior to atheism, as you are a polytheist. Care to support your polytheism, or just randomly comment here and there while never supporting anything, or even explicating your polytheistic views?

          I predict you will not explain or support any of your weird beliefs, but continue denying that you are cagey, continue calling people names, and thus continue being cagey.

    3. 11.3
      annabucci

      what a complete misrepresentation of what actually occurred. And yes, you are a dipshit and I’ll be blocking you in IRC from now on, like the others have. What a troll.

      1. jacobfromlost

        annabucci: what a complete misrepresentation of what actually occurred.

        Me: You again make an assertion with no support. I’m not tech savvy enough to check the chatlog, but if anyone thinks I have misrepresented the chat, they can access it themselves, and judge for themselves if I have misrepresented what happened (I’m happy to be corrected if I missed something). Also, if I misrepresented your position, why don’t you clarify it, lol? You keep posting vaguely confrontational (or criticizing) posts here, and yet still haven’t made a case for YOUR position.

        P.S. Antifides was the only person who had me on ignore, but he loves me so much that half the time he is only pretending to have me on ignore–as in the discussion in question when he accidentally responded to me, thus giving away the fact that he was in fact reading all my responses, lol.

        1. annabucci

          dude, you’re a nutter. Time to step away from the intarwebs for a while.

          1. Mary2

            He’s a nutter? You’re the one who “claims” to believe in gods other people stopped believing in before the Normans invaded Britain. And yet you also hang around atheist blogs. Lacking attention are we?

  12. 12
    Neil Bartlett

    Nice show guys. Shame about the quality of the callers but that’s hardly your fault.

    I thought of a perfect example to illustrate your point about discrimination: Utah was not allowed to become a state of the USA until the Mormon church banned polygamy. You can’t have different laws for different religious groups!

    Actually in the UK, the current Archbishop of Canterbury (i.e. the second-in-command in the Church of England after the Queen) thought that you *can* have different laws for different religions. In 2008 he supported the idea of Sharia law for muslims…. can you imagine!? I wonder if that would have included the death penalty for apostasy?

    1. 12.1
      Fabricio Ferreira

      I think, actually, it would be a nice idea for a social experiment. Make every sinful act to be a crime only for those who follow that religion. So, Catholics would be jailed for having an abortion or using contraceptives; Jews would be jailed for eating non-kosher food and working on Shabat; and so on.

      It would be very interesting to see what happens if someone enforced the religious tenets of one’s religion against him/herself, while leaving people that is not from that religion alone. I think they wouldn’t like it very much, to say the least.

  13. 13
    atheist from hell

    @44 I believe the archbishop only said that under certain circumstances it might not be possible to prevent certain aspects of sharia law from being adopted by Muslims. For example marriage and divorce laws. Clearly apostasy laws can not adopted.

  14. 14
    Orlando

    Atheist prophecy: Mitt Romney will be the next president, because Independent women like him, as do blue collar men. LDS is spending millions on this election, pumping out articles in the media claiming Utah is now gay-friendly, etc. For men, the good news is polygamy will be made legal.

    Obama could win if he picks Hillary as his VP. She would capture the independent and democratic women.

    1. 14.1
      jacobfromlost

      Orlando: Obama could win if he picks Hillary as his VP. She would capture the independent and democratic women.

      Me: Dammit, I was going to say that (would you believe me if I’ve been saying that since before Obama picked Biden for his running mate last time?). The NYTimes had a piece on that recently. I don’t know if Obama would ever do such a thing (there is still an underlying strained relationship between the Obamas and Clintons), but Obama has shown an incredible skill at making big decisions at the best possible strategic times. And both Hillary and Barack seem to be able to put things behind them and move on.

      As things stand, Obama has got a good chance to win. If he enlists Hillary as a running mate, I don’t think he can lose…and the dems would have the added benefit of strategically placing a strong candidate for 2016 in position. Biden isn’t strong enough to run in 2016, and any party who wants to stay in power better start thinking WAY ahead of time. We can see from the repubs what happens when no one is thinking ahead of time.

      1. Orlando

        We are on the same wavelength on this and many other things.

        I think the dems are underestimating Romney, both his attractiveness to moderate women, the unlimited funds from the church, and, sadly, that many whites over 50 want a white guy back in charge.

        I’ve been researching the LDS since their funding of the Prop 8 issue (which they admit was a huge failure that they believe cost Romney his last chance), and their subsequent campaign to re-invent themselves as gay-friendly over the last couple years. There is lots of material on this (just google).

        But the central ideals of LDS are conformity and submission to authority, so their influence on the country will be subtle but profound for we unconventional types.

    2. 14.2
      Russell Glasser

      Counter-prediction: Romney won’t do very well in the general election, because the Republican base simply doesn’t like him. They’ve spent the entire primary season pushing forward, almost literally, EVERY OTHER candidate in the field hoping someone will consolidate the anti-Romney will arise. Romney doesn’t have enough of a track record of being batshit crazy, and evangelicals dislike his religious beliefs as well as his former support of abortion. As much as they hate Obama, the enthusiasm isn’t there. Many will stay home rather than cast a vote for Romney.

      For men, the good news is polygamy will be made legal.

      You’re joking, right? I’m almost sure you are, but in case you aren’t: Romney is trying to win the support of a party that routinely attacks gay marriage by saying it’s the first step towards polygamy. Romney is not a polygamist, and the Mormon church hasn’t officially supported the practice for well over a hundred years. That’s got to be the dumbest prediction I’ve heard all season.

      1. Neil

        The dumbest part was the idea that men would think of polygamy as a good thing. Only an unmarried man would say that.

        For the rest of us having one wife is bad enough… to have many would be hell on earth ;-)

      2. Orlando

        I guess I should have included a sarcasm emoticon. But I think you are really underestimating Romney’s appeal and the fact that repubs are, in the end, a top down org and as such their people will fall in line and vote.

        My spouse works for the white house, and I strongly support Obama. But many older white people have confided to me that they want someone more representative of their values (meaning race) or other such reasons.

        But as I push the discussions, they seem to say “I voted for Obama last time so I’m not a racist, but now I want someone more mainstream.” Meaning a 1950′s Father Knows Best throwback who “looks like a president.” If you deconstruct those kind of comments you will find the code words. The “Romney looks presidential” meme, which I read as racial preference.

        At some point, Jacob and I discussed above, Obama may find that he needs Hillary to recapture independent women.

        Just an opinion. Oh, you should read Romney’s NH victory speech. Replete with LDS imagery and references. Just sayn’

        1. atheist from hell

          Why are we discussing this in a atheist forum?

          Do moderators allow it?

          Anyway I think Obama will win in 2012. His campaign warchest is loaded. Besides he is not as anti-wallstreet as people make him out to be. He is pretty mainstream.

          1. jacobfromlost

            Since Kazim IS a moderator and commented on it, I thought it would be ok. lol

            Besides, it’s an open thread.

      3. jacobfromlost

        While it is true that the repubs don’t like Romney that much, after the smoke clears and he IS the nominee, I think the Obama vs. Romney dynamic becomes more complicated than it is now. Sure, some repubs are not “fired up and ready to go” vote for Romney, but, likewise, a lot of people who WERE “fired up and ready to go” vote for Obama in ’08 are not fired up at all. The historical vote is over. The feeling of being a young person voting for historical change is over. Some substantial number of liberals/democrats are even disappointed. Many republicans may not like Romney, but many of the actual people who voted for Obama last time are guaranteed not to vote for ANYONE this time because it’s just not the same. (Putting Hillary on the ticket, however, could capture a lot of that AGAIN–ie, tacitly saying this is the first step in putting a woman in the White House in 2016.)

        Which (without Hillary), to my mind, only gives a VERY minor advantage to Obama as an incumbent–a minor advantage that could easily switch to Romney if any number of things happen at just the wrong time (and just the wrong time could be any time between now and November). An Obama gaff that gets traction with the public, an economic hic-up, a democratic scandal, a floated lie that strikes a public nerve that Fox News runs with for weeks…or something else.

        And I think Orlando is right. Obama NEEDS women. He’s already established a relationship with Hillary. Hillary still has ardent supporters in the moderate center. Hillary has already been vetted–there is nothing that can come out now that hasn’t already come out. No one cares. Putting her on the ticket is a win-win. I know the letter in the NYTimes today said that putting Hillary on the ticket would fire up the repubs, but I don’t buy that for a minute (those who would be “fired up” were already voting, and already voting against Obama–Hillary isn’t going to motivate anyone to vote against Obama who wasn’t already doing so). There are lots of moderates, and even republicans, who say they’d vote for Bill again RIGHT NOW (I hear this all the time from republican family members). Hillary is a female Bill who has the moral high ground (she was the forgiver, not the cheater), she has pre-existing support, she has extensive foreign policy experience, and is seen as TOUGH by those in the center. (I heard MANY center-right republicans say they would have voted for her in the last election, saying they thought she was tougher than Obama. Putting the two of them together, with the killing of Osama under Obama’s belt, would make for some extremely effective campaigning across the board, even for those who don’t quite like Obama. It would be like saying, “Don’t like Obama that much? Put him back for four more years, and Hillary will be in prime position to take the reigns from him.” The narrative, at least right now, is perfect.)

        1. Orlando

          Precisely. You should visit Daily Kos website for some of the slime ball tactics Mitt’s spin-meisters are employing. And mainstream media are permitting.

        2. Orlando

          “If McCain had won in 2008, the auto industry would be dead and Osama Bin Laden would be alive” Daily Kos

        3. Russell Glasser

          I agree about Hillary. I don’t see any good reason why she’s supposed to be some magic fix to Obama’s poll numbers. As far as I can tell, her positives and negatives in being added to the ticket are a wash, not to mention the wild speculation that would occur if Obama unceremoniously dumped his standing vice president for no apparent reason. If there’s anything wrong with Biden, it’s that he seems to have been more or less invisible and hasn’t done anything newsworthy for the last four years. But he’s not the kind of massive liability that, say, Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle were, and he stomped all over Sarah in the ’08 VP debate.

          I’m just not seeing how Hillary would create a massive swing. In fact, the reason I voted for Obama over Clinton in the primaries is that I felt like he had less negative baggage than she did when it came to electability — even though I thought her health care plan was better.

        4. jacobfromlost

          Kazim: I don’t see any good reason why she’s supposed to be some magic fix to Obama’s poll numbers.

          Me: I’m not saying she’s a magic fix to his poll numbers. In fact, I think his poll numbers might be good enough (that is, they are soft numbers) to get him reelected by election day. I just think they would be better–or at least HARDER numbers–with Hillary.

          Kazim: As far as I can tell, her positives and negatives in being added to the ticket are a wash,

          Me: Her positives have increased in the last 20 years, especially among moderates, and her negatives have softened dramatically. The same people in the middle (independents and some republicans) who say they’d vote for Bill Clinton right now are largely the same people who like Hillary. In fact, some polls have shown that her approval ratings are above 60% (one article in 2010 claimed she is the most popular living politician, and an article in March 2011 cited a Gallup poll that put her approval at 66%, one point lower than her all time high of 67% in 1998).

          Kazim: not to mention the wild speculation that would occur if Obama unceremoniously dumped his standing vice president for no apparent reason.

          Me: It wouldn’t be unceremonious. The speculation is that Obama would swap Hillary and Biden so he would be Secretary of State (it’s not like he said, “you’re fired, and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out”). It would be a bold executive decision, and could easily be explained by a savvy politician (Obama is certainly that, as is Hillary). Hillary is 5 years younger than Biden also, and a far better candidate for 2016 than Biden. (Remember, the republicans gave up a vp candidate for president with Cheney, as Cheney was never going to run for pres. If the democrats do the same when they have the opportunity to put a viable candidate in the vp slot, then they risk the same problems the republicans had in 2008. The dems should learn not only from their mistakes, but from the republicans’ mistakes.) Not only that, but Romney still has to make a choice for his vp. What if HE makes a bold choice–a Chris Christie or Jeb Bush? If Obama responded to such a move by swapping Hillary and Biden, it wouldn’t be unceremonious at all, and wouldn’t warrant “wild speculation”, as it would be clear what he was doing and why, and that it was clearly a smart move as an Obama-Clinton ticket would be far stronger than a Romney-Christie or Romney-Bush ticket.

          Kazim: If there’s anything wrong with Biden, it’s that he seems to have been more or less invisible and hasn’t done anything newsworthy for the last four years. But he’s not the kind of massive liability that, say, Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle were, and he stomped all over Sarah in the ’08 VP debate.

          Me: Biden isn’t a massive liability, no, but he simply can’t win in 2016 and won’t offer anything of substance as a vp candidate in 2012 (to 2016). I don’t think Hillary is a magic bullet, but she seems to be one of the most popular politicians alive despite the state of politics today.

          Kazim: I’m just not seeing how Hillary would create a massive swing.

          Me: I didn’t say she WOULD create a massive swing. She would solidify an Obama lead, and harden the numbers in his favor by increasing his support among independents, moderate republicans, and women. (You can’t lose the women vote and win the the US.) I think his numbers would solidify around 52%, and probably not drop below 50%.

          Kazim: In fact, the reason I voted for Obama over Clinton in the primaries is that I felt like he had less negative baggage than she did when it came to electability — even though I thought her health care plan was better.

          Me: I actually voted for Hillary in the primaries (so maybe I am biased), but I don’t think she HAS any baggage anymore. There isn’t anything negative about her that people don’t know inside and out, and she still has approval ratings north of 60% (sometimes close to 70%, which means a lot of independents, moderates, republicans, and women are approving of her). There is no other politician alive who even approaches those numbers on a national scale (except maybe Bill Clinton, who would be another positive reason to put her on the ticket; the man is an invaluable campaigner, and a reminder to many of those independents and moderate republicans of a person they would vote for right now, today, if they had the chance; having hiim stand next to his wife in such a circumstance gives her all of his positives, and none of his negatives…and, in turn, gives Obama all of BOTH of their positives for his reelection).

  15. 15
    MegaZeusThor

    The show had a couple good segments. It all depends on the callers; you guys did a find job.

    Unrelated topic:

    If Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee, or the US president, does that signal that religion has become less important?

    Do some Google searches for “Mormon strange beliefs”. (They’re only strange because they’re unfamiliar.) Magic underwear, Multiple heavens, spirits before being born, GOD / Jesus / Holy Spirit = 3 different beings, chance to become a God yourself with your own planet. As far as fiction goes, it’s not really any worse than some other religious mythology.

    Pro: Unlike some Christian Evangelicals, a President Romney might be less likely to bring up religion every chance he gets. (Let’s just avoid the subject…)

    Con: Good chance he believes it. If he didn’t wouldn’t he have switch to something more mainstream?

  16. 16
    atheist from hell

    Just curious, has anyone asked Tebow what happens when the qb of the opposite team also prays to Jesus?

    In olden days, neighbouring tribes prayed to different Gods. So the when fought the winner can always say that his tribal God is better than the opponents God.

    But as soon as you and your opponent pray to the same monotheistic God, don’t you have a problem.

    1. 16.1
      Orlando

      The real question is, will evangelical darling Tebow endorse Romney or Santorum? Or will he himself run for president after his football career is over.

      1. jwolforth

        What I would like to ask Tebow is, why don’t you pray for rain in Ethopia, or pray that the people of Denver will show some compassion for the homeless on their streets? By kneeling or pointing to the sky, he is already making a statement that millions of people see, why not make it a statement that actually makes a difference, that at least raises some awareness of real problems that are happening on earth? His owner or coach would probably suggest he stop talking about those things, which is a sad statement; it’s okay to thank God during an interview, but don’t mention the working poor who’s taxes helped pay for your stadium.

        1. Orlando

          Football is tribal, so when Tebow prays for success of his team, think of the tribes of Israel praying to Yahweh or whomever to smite their enemies: essentially the same thing. Real progress, huh?

      2. atheist from hell

        May be in 2016. He is not a very good qb.

  17. 17
    Neil Bartlett

    Forgive my ignorance, I’m just a dumb foreigner… what’s a Tebow?

    1. 17.1
      Russell Glasser

      He’s a football player — excuse me, an “American Football” player — who ostentatiously drops to his knees and prays every time he scores points. He also gained prominence by making an obnoxious anti-abortion commercial.

      1. Orlando

        And he is hugely popular with evangelicals. As I wrote above, his favorite verse is John 3:16, which he sometimes paints on his face before games. So when he gained 316 yards and 31.6 yards per pass this last game, the correlation with his favorite verse threw them into a frenzy of belief confirmation.

        So now Christians are using his past numbers to match up to the pertinent verses (american football is obsessed with various numbers pertaining to yards, points scored, etc.). As one poster noted earlier, The Tebow Code will likely be a book on sale in Christian bookstores.

        1. MarkB

          I hope Tom Brady has 666 yards offense against the Broncos.

          1. Orlando

            ooh, you be evil (*_*)

        2. stonee4

          At least we can take solace in the fact that the NFL doesn’t allow players to display messages on their eye black, like Tebow did in college.

          As to “The Tebow Code”, let’s hope his stats come out to some form of 6, 5, and 8… As in Matthew 6:5-8.

  18. 18
    Andrew EC

    I often hear the “Christianity is like love” or “Christianity is like music” analogy. Here’s what I say in response:

    Yes, among bands, you’re free to have your own personal preferences. If you want to argue that ABBA is the greatest band of all time — well, I can point to albums sold or #1 songs or influence on other musicians or whatever and try to convince you that *maybe* the Beatles deserve to be ranked above ABBA.

    At the end of the day, though, you’re right: it’s personal preference. You can say “I just like ABBA more,” and regardless of whether it’s rational or not, it’s your own belief.

    But if you tell me that “ZRBLZX and the Flaming Quadropleens” is the greatest band of all time, I’m going to say: “Huh? I’ve never heard of them.”

    And if your response is “well, you can’t *see* their albums or hear their songs until you become a True Fan, but trust me, they’re awesome!”, then I’m going to tell you that you’re insane.

    Love is the same way. You can love your boyfriend or girlfriend, and that’s fine, but when you tell me you love Zzzyxnax the Invisible Dragon, we’ve left the realm of personal preference and entered crazytown.

    1. 18.1
      jacobfromlost

      Andrew: You can love your boyfriend or girlfriend, and that’s fine, but when you tell me you love Zzzyxnax the Invisible Dragon, we’ve left the realm of personal preference and entered crazytown.

      Me: I think you’ve articulated the reason I felt so uncomfortable the few times I went to Church/Sunday school as a child. Being told you have to feel a certain way (and a STRONG way) about something whose existence is not apparent in any way…felt (inversely) very, very wrong. It gave me the same feeling I got whenever I was around a person whom I suddenly realized, after a bit of conversation or a sudden turn of events, was mentally ill. But at least in those situations, I had a larger group of rational people (family, coworkers, etc) who would all work together to deal with a singular crazy person. But what do you do when everyone in your immediate group starts acting crazy? Fake it in order to protect yourself? But what if their craziness arbitrarily changes? How will you know you’re faking it right? I remember feeling very concerned about this as a child in church.

  19. 19
    Deanna Joy Lyons - Mentioner of Patriarchy

    Thanks for the plug for Living After Faith, Russell!

    If anyone needs the link: http://livingafterfaith.com

    Deanna

  20. 20
    LykeX

    What you need to understand is I’m a skeptic, and everything you said, and all the ways you said it, was not evidence of an actual belief

    I think you may be going a bit overboard here. People believe all sorts of things, so unless a person says or does something that specifically contradicts their professed beliefs, I’m perfectly happy to take their word for it.
    I may be a bit more tolerant of trolls than you, though. I tend to see them as a chance for some mental exercise, rather than a waste of time, so I don’t worry too much about it.

    I have NEVER had someone claim to be a polytheist who believed in Odin. NEVER

    I submit that you may have been running in the wrong (or right) circles. There are plenty of people that believe in things that make Odin seem positively mundane. I would thoroughly disagree that it’s an extraordinary claim. E.g. in occult circles belief in pagan gods is quite a common practice.

  21. 21
    jacobfromlost

    LykeX: I think you may be going a bit overboard here. People believe all sorts of things, so unless a person says or does something that specifically contradicts their professed beliefs, I’m perfectly happy to take their word for it.

    Me: What contradicted the beliefs for me was the fact that it took forever for her to get to what they were, and when she finally got to them, they were pretty absurd. It didn’t jibe for me. Maybe it would have been enough for others to believe her.

    LykeX: I may be a bit more tolerant of trolls than you, though. I tend to see them as a chance for some mental exercise, rather than a waste of time, so I don’t worry too much about it.

    Me: I agree if the troll playing an intellectual game–ie, acting as a foil for rational argument and learning. But is that what anna was doing? She still hasn’t supplied any argument or support for her beliefs. How is that any different than claiming Mickey Mouse is in charge of everything, and when challenged on it multiple times, calling everyone nutters, reiterating that “yes I seriously believe in Mickey Mouse”, and then becoming indignant that anyone would find my claim to belief unbelievable. There is no chance for mental exercise there.

    LykeX: I submit that you may have been running in the wrong (or right) circles. There are plenty of people that believe in things that make Odin seem positively mundane.

    Me: And I bet I have had discussions with those people, lol. Never with an Odin believer, nor with a general polytheist so far as I can remember. (I even had a discussion with a dude who said Jesus was returning on a comet Elenin, and that “Christians believe this”. So I did a search and found this: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/128708798.html

    which documented that comet Elenin self-destructed. When I brought the news of Jesus’s death to this person, they said that it must be a different comet…even though 10 minutes before they were swearing up and down that Jesus was on THAT comet because the Russians were building bunkers for the end of the world, and they were doing this because they had observed its intelligent control by Jesus.)

    LykeX: I would thoroughly disagree that it’s an extraordinary claim. E.g. in occult circles belief in pagan gods is quite a common practice.

    Me: It’s an extraordinary claim within the god/atheism debate. I’ve never had a debate go…

    Person A: God exists because of A, B, and C.
    Person B: A, B, and C are not valid reasons that support a god.
    Person C: Hey, any of you guys believe in Odin and Thor?

    I have, however, had Person D, E and F interject with aliens, the Hollow Earth Theory, and the Mexican Goat Sucker. But they always interjected with what they thought was evidence right out of the gate. And when you ASKED them about it, they would offer more about their beliefs that they thought were reasons and evidence. I’ve never had anyone make such an extraordinary claim in such a reticent manner, and then refuse to support it.

  22. 22
    joancoletti

    i called for the 1st time sunday january 8th 2012- and now after reading these blogs i know why i was told “they’ll hate you in the chat rooms” – i guess i was one of the callers who contributed to a ‘slow night’ …. one of the bloggers complained “i hate people who call to just converse or hear themselves talk”…I can only speak for myself and all i can say is I just became an atheist a year ago – i discovered the atheist experience less than a month ago – i live on a tiny very small- minded christian conservative village along the coast of maine, which i love but can be challenging for a new atheist – i did not call the atheist experience to hear myself talk – i called to speak with others who are like-minded – to be able to speak freely- to interact with others who have such logical and compelling messages – i am in the beginning stages and i am -if you can excuse the term – still a little “star struck” with these cool men and women who speak so freely and correctly. from my viewpoint the atheist experience shouldn’t just for those who want to challenge them – it should also be open to those who want to rejoice in a new found reasoning and rationalization, but of course thats just my dull opinion.

    1. 22.1
      Russell Glasser

      It’s okay, I found your call very interesting and worthwhile. Next to having a serious argument with a believer, one of my favorite kind of calls is from people who are just newly acclimating to atheism. So the hell with the chat room. :)

  23. 23
    Dale Tingey

    Matt, Jeff and the whole gang @ Atheist experience Thought I would drop you a line after finding you on you tube and thank you for putting on a great show and it was only after a few episodes I watched that I realized I had so much in common with Matt and many of his contemporaries in the sense of background and my own personal Journey unto Atheism! As a reformed Christian it was only after an attempt to really study the bible and dissect it and asking many many many questions which were always answered with the typical bullshit response “that’s what the bible says” or my own personal favourite “God made it that way” that I realized the all encompassing stranglehold that organized religion and organized corporatism has on the world today! So being the “curious George” type that I am and my penchant for absolute truth I decided to learn about the history of the bible. Well….what a fucking study that turned out to be yet ever full of those sweet tangibles of truth you start to realize the giant clusterfuck all faith based religions have purported on the world up to and including today.

    There is one piece of (moral compass)information that does come from the bible that is of use to mankind though (much as I might hate to admit it)and that is the Golden Rule. Everything else you can throw in the garbage can.

    Dale Tingey

    Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

  24. 24
    Neil Bartlett

    I agree with Kazim… your call was fine!

    I think main problem was with the first two callers, i.e. the unintelligible Brazilian caller (to be fair it was as much due to the bad phone line as his accent) and the miserable Brit who apparently called to criticize the state of US politics (perhaps he should direct his ire towards David Cameron and the recent “Christian country” speech).

  25. 25
    Mary2

    I’m with you. I don’t buy the whole Odin / polytheism thing. Defunct gods might be a useful metaphorical device within pagan circles but I sincerely doubt that, outside of a lunatic asylum, there is a single person who believes in the actual existence of Odin or Athena or any of the other long dead gods. By what evidence, personal revelation or visitation would you get the idea, let alone solid belief, that one of these stories from childhood might actually be real. If Zeus visited me in the guise of a swan I’d book myself into a Shrink’s appointment before I’d believe that Zeus was real.

  26. 26
    annabucci

    lol, pagans don’t exist I guess.

  27. 27
    Jolly

    Joan, don’t let a few people in a chat room discourage you. Mostly they probably mean it is more entertaining to hear from a theist caller.
    I live on the other coast in the NW, where there are lots of atheists and I hardly know any Christians socially. But we have woo-woo up the ying-yang and being a skeptic, I have to bite my tongue a lot. I still get into discussions with people who believe the craziest things from homeopathy to astrology but no gods. People just believe the craziest things. Good luck in your small town.

  28. 28
    jacobfromlost

    Joan,
    I agree with Kazim. Also, for future note, the chatroom hates everything, lol. They’ve even hated ME on occasion. Can you imagine? :-)

  29. 29
    Lausten North

    Rick Reilly is known for highlighting this kind of stuff. http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7455943/believing-tim-tebow Tebow might be the real thing, that is someone who genuinely cares about people. You would think his Christian fans would make a bigger deal of this than some weird numbers game.

  30. 30
    Maximilian_Vogeland

    And now he gained proeminence by being curb-stomped by Patriot’s defense.

    BURN!

  31. 31
    Bryan Elliott

    Wanted to comment on Fred’s call.

    You seek to control the flow of your money past your own hands; that is, you expect that money in the hands of Christians will go towards things like tithing, indoctrination, and other unwholesome activities. You’re, in essence seeking to overstep a basic level of self-governance – that individuals make their own financial decisions. Nominally, this is called “discrimination”. Whether this particular form is ethical/moral or not is a question for better philosophers than I – but I’d personally tend to avoid this type of behavior.

    Ignoring for the moment my distaste for the concept – I was raised in the Philadelphia School system, which has left me with a certain liberal derangement in this sense – I wouldn’t personally endorse an atheist business list for a couple of other reasons.

    First, I’m pretty competent at data security and security exploitation. With a group as diverse and as unmarked as atheists, there would be no realistic way to protect that list from people that would use it to reject businesses on the grounds of discrimination.

    Second, business contact is one of the few forms of interaction in which your religion truly doesn’t matter. It enables conversations to start across the normal boundaries of faith without bringing the topic up. Relationships of respect can be formed unpredicated on common beliefs, and these relationships can help others’ deconversion – a personal goal of mine.

    Lastly, and much to the same effect, I avoid engaging in too many specifically atheist groups and meetings in general. I do attend a monthly meetup – but I feel like if all I ever talk about is atheism, I’m likely living in an echo chamber. If I’m going to spread rationality, I think it’s probably a better idea to have an idea of how the irrational work – and that means listening to and understanding them. Again, this is enabled by venues, like businesses, where religion is not in the equation.

    On the subject of the word “Faith”:
    Here’s a useful Venn diagram: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homograph_homophone_venn_diagram.svg

    The problem here is that the two definitions of faith you speak of are essentially the same: confidence or trust in an entity (i.e., person, proposition, organization, etc). Whether that faith is justified or not can be assigned a adjective (blind faith v. professional faith).

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